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1st Choice case study


Written by Editorial Team

Published March 2023

In this article...

Helping to keep drivers moving with an easier way to buy spare parts

We’re working with 1st Choice to deliver a secure payment platform that provides a seamless customer experience.

Finding exactly the right spare part when a car breaks down can be time-consuming and expensive. There are hundreds of spare parts dealers around the UK, and thousands of spare parts for each individual make of vehicle. Drivers can waste days calling around multiple suppliers, looking for the part they need.

1st Choice is an online platform that lets drivers search spare part availability and pricing across more than 150 independent retailers. The website collates stock and pricing information from retailers and shares this with customers by text or email. Customers can compare quotes to find the best price for spare parts, then order and pay their chosen supplier directly.

The risks

The platform does a great job of making it easier for drivers to find the right spare part for their vehicle. However, when it came to paying for parts, things were more complicated. Each supplier set their own payment method, with some payments being made via PayPal, and others over the telephone.

None of these methods provided a safe, seamless customer experience. Payment processing services can charge high fees to suppliers. Taking payment details over the phone carries a higher risk of fraud, since there is no PIN or 3D Secure verification to confirm the transaction is genuine.

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Pay360’s seamless solution

1st Choice approached Pay360 in August 2021 to provide a seamless, secure payment solution for customers to pay for spare parts. The platform needed to be secure, easy to use and integrated with the existing account details for merchants. It took just three months for us to provide a fully integrated payment service that uses Pay360 Evolve to provide merchants and customers with a secure link for payments.

Today when a driver requests a spare part through 1st Choice, the website collates quotes from various merchants and sends these to the customer as normal. If the customer orders a part, they can ask to be sent a SecureLink by email or text. This link takes the customer to a secure payment page, where they can enter card details. The customer usually receives the part within seven days.

Behind the scenes, Pay360 processes the payment and credits it to the supplier’s account with details of the part ordered, so the merchant can process and dispatch the order. Retailers who use Evolve pay around half the fees associated with other online payment providers, while customers have the peace of mind of making a payment through a trusted website using fully secure technology. Around 40% of 1st Choice suppliers have already signed up to the Evolve platform.

Looking ahead

More retailers are joining the Evolve platform every month, with the eventual aim being to onboard all suppliers onto the Pay360 platform. 1st Choice has also appointed a dedicated account manager to manage the growth of Pay360. The next step for the project is to add net settlement functionality to Pay360, to make onboarding new suppliers easier. In addition, the company wants to add Open Banking transactions, giving customers even more options to pay securely online.

"Although it’s still early days, we’re adding new suppliers to Pay360 every week, making it simpler and easier to offer end customers a secure payment when placing orders, as well as suppliers now benefiting from being able to simply ‘click’ to 3D Secure PayLinks to customers. We’ve seen an increase in conversions via the site, and hope once we have signed up the majority of our network of suppliers that we will see a significant new revenue stream from their global sales." - Nick Elia Managing Director, 1st Choice Spares UK Ltd


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